tv The Cycle MSNBC February 14, 2013 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
yeah. then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] ...safe driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands? five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me. now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story. right now on "the cycle" on hold. we watched senate disfunction reach a whole new level today. >> former senator byron dorgen
knows this rid dick louseness all --- >> what's the story here? >> happy valentine's day, raven's star and former super bowl champ, he writes the rules for professional athletes. >> it's thursday, so naturally, we're packed with sports, plus don't look now, the wheel of misfortune is back too. can you say sequester salve rajry? yeah, we're going there. and just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, we have hit a new level of washington obstruction, folks. and actually both parties are somewhat guilty. for the first time ever, a
secretary of state nomination is being filibustered by the senate. of course they don't want to use the word filibuster, but calling for a supermajority of 60 votes pretty much boils down to the same thing. harry reed is moving ahead with a scheduled yes or no vote anyway, that's scheduled for next hour. if he can get his democratic ducks in a row, he only needs five democrats to vote with him. republican rand paul is putting a stop on his -- while democrat dianne fienstein is delaying calling the vote another two weeks, she's opting to hole the nomination hostage until the white house forks over more documents on the administration's controversial drone program. but is delaying an inevitable vote really the best way to get what you want and what precedent does this set for the future?
byron jorgen is all too familiar with the washington environment. let's start with the chuck hagel filibuster situation. senator mitch mcconnell said, i think the president is entitled to an up or down. that is simple majority vote on nominations, both to his cabinet and to the executive branch and also to the judiciary, clearly the republicans have somewhat changed their tune on the that. but if we do see, as we're seeing now, a sort of filibuster on nominees is this going to be the new normal now in washington? >> the consistency is not a virtue any longer, but what i'm surprised about with respect to the senate actions here, i serve there had the last 189 years, left two years ago, i served with chuck hagel, he served there 12 years and i'm very surprised that people who served with him in his own caucus, he
caucused with them every week, they know him as a squad leader and infantry man who was twice wounded, he has two purple hearts by the way. they're suggesting somehow he's unworthy? it's unbelievable to me, every time you think this is sort of the nth degree of gridlock, i hope you dpind enough republicans who say we know chuck hagel, we serve with him every day, he's a good american, a patriot and very well versed in these issues and we've going to support him. imhope he gets those votes. >> not looking specifically at chuck hagel. but as -- what is this standard that these nominees should be held to for confirmati confirmation? >> it's generally the case that a former senator, someone who is known by all of his or her
colleagues has a pretty easy time through the senate. because it's someone that you've come towork with in this case. second, with respect to defense secretary, generally speak, senators have always been able to accord a president to his key defense. but things have become so dysfunctional in the congress these days, things that didn't used to be done, that is filibusters on people you used to work with, these things are fairly common place, it just erodes the constitution. >> the filibuster may be uncommonly used here in this circumstance, but the general circumstances are not uncommon, republicans have been asking chuck hagel and the white house for more documents and more information both on benghazi and
chuck hagel's financial disclosures and as crystal mentioned back in 2005, john bolton for example, his -- also asking for disclosures on documents and did not get them. this sort of thing in your 189 years in the senate, this sort of thing does happen, does it not? >> rarely and frankly, people asking these questions are never going to be satisfied. that's not what it's about. a continuation of the unbelievable gridlock and thoughtlessness that is now occurring in our political system. i hope it will stop. it seems to me on the republican side in the senate at least, a colleague who they served with for 12 years, who was an infantry squad leader with two purple hearts, it seems to me they would want to be standing in support of him for secretary of defense. >> this marks the third filibuster on a cabinet
appointment. they were done by a handful of senators, maybe three or four of them. the closure votes were like 90 to 10 or something like that. we have a closure vote failing on a nominee. it was just a month ago that harry reid backed off the idea of filibuster reform. do you think going through this may change his thinking a little bit? >> i don't know. what i do know is this, i know chuck hagel very well, i like him a lot. he was a democrat, he was a republican in the senate. he is clearly well qualified to be secretary of defense. he did have a day that i'm sure could have been better when he was before the committee, but they were pretty merciless the way they went after him on several subjects. >> whatever harry reid's going to do, what about somebody who's served in the chamber and is watching this right now, do you think filibuster should be on the table flight? >> the fill buggser reform that
i would support is simply getting rid of the filibuster most on the motion to proceed. the filibuster issue, it's not because of the rules, it's because of the people who have come to the senate recently, who said, you know, what i'm going to do is i'm going to throw the wrench in the crank case here and just stop everything in its cracks, we have got people who think their best interests is served by just shutting down. that is not in the best interests of the country. certainly with respect to be able to pick the next secretary of state with respect to the president, this senate ought to be able to be providing a positive vote for someone they served with for 12 years and know that he is very well qualifieded. >> senator i entirely agree with that, but would you say that filibuster has worked to a certain extent to what -- when mitch mcconnell says we're going to obstruct to keep president
obama from winning a second term. when he wins a second term, why are they still obstructing in the second term? >> i said apparently consistency is not a virtue. take one position now, take another position now and hope that someone won't quote you from several years ago. i just wish there would be some thoughtfulness here and enough republicans who served with chuck hagel, know that he's well qualified a patriotic american and he ought -- >> senator one last thing, names are starting to be floated in terms of who will replace steven chu as secretary of energy. one of those a man by the name of byron dorgen. what do u you know about him? >> i don't know anything about him. he's a good guy, though.
>> stephen chu was a good energy secretary, i like him a lot. nobel prize winner and i think he served his nation well. and the decision beyond that is up to the president of the united states. a tragedy at the home of inspirational olympian oscar castorias, and severe allegations about how he may have been involved. [ whispering ] i've always preferred the crème part of an oreo. [ whispering ] that's crazy, the cookie's the best part. crème. cookie. crème. stop yelling. you stop yelling. [ whispering ] both of you stop yelling. [ whispering ] i'm trying to read. [ male announcer ] choose your side at oreo.com. ♪ [ indistinct shouting ] [ male announcer ] time and sales data. split-second stats. [ indistinct shouting ]
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watched as oscar pistorius's story unfolded before our very eyes, he made it all the way to the -- today a shocking turn of events. police have arrested pistorius and charged him with murder for the apparent murder of his girlfriend who was found dead in his home in south africa. his hearing is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. local time tomorrow. let's talk about this, it's one of those that obviously the details are going to be put together in the next dafew days weeks month. everyone can see the appearance is not good in terms of obviously there's a woman dead, that 's terrible, but the story is his potential role in that, not good. it seems like one of those instances where you sort of put somebody up there on a pedestal and he's a hero to the whole
world and maybe there's a whole something else entirely going on beneath the surface. but we'll know a lot more later. >> once again we have put a hero on a pedestal and it appears allegedly that he has let us down. we don't know if this is domestic violence, or mistaken identity, put that out. but there is a woman dead. there is only one suspect at this time. three quotes jumped out at me, dr. arthur kellermann, more than twice as many women are killed with a gun used by their husband or intimate acquaintances using other means. the literature suggests having a gun in your house to protect your family is like bringing a time bomb into your house. david hemingway from harvard, no study has shown a gun in the home reduces the likelihood of burglary, robbery, abuse or any other crime against women.
it seems that we in society have this idea, this myth that a gun in the home will protect us when the facts show over and over that they make us more vulnerable to being shot by that gun. >> it's really interesting, wapo had a piece out today knowing that the idea of gun control and gun violence was probably going to come up around this story. south africa has one of the highest rates of homicide in proportion to population, it's way higher than the united states. and contrasting with that, this is a country with very strict gun laws, more strict than we are proposing now in the way of gun control legislation. ever gun owner in south africa must submit to background checks and they are required to perform interviews with spouses and at least two other people. and after all that, police are
still able to have full discretion over whom they allow to own a gun. and as is often the case, legal guns in south africa are stolen by criminals at a rate of more than 2,000 a month. so it's really hard to say that strict gun laws and make a correlation between gun laws and gun crime when you're looking at a country. some are far more stride dent and clearly not having the desireded effect. >> what i would urge people on both sides, is it is tempting to use something like this and an neck dote. the other thing i just wanted to call attention to here is the
woman whose life was lost, he was continuing to break the model stereotype, she was speaking about women and empowerment, in fact four days before she died, she had just tweet it about a brutal rape and murder of a young girl in south africa. she said on twitter, i woke up in a happy and safe home this morning, not everyone did. one of the things that tends to happen in stories like this is because we are dealing with this inspirational well known olympian, there is this intrigue to the story, to the drama of the murder, what are the details of what happened. let's not lose sight of the woman whose life was lost and i hope that if the facts lead us down this road, i hope we will address the causes of domestic violence as well. >> coming up, roses are red, violents are blue, poems are hard -- i don't know, we're
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pope benedict xvi will live out his final days in vatican city as he relinquishes his thrown. cardinals around the world will gather to determine who will succeed him. what direction will the church go in let's ask nbc news vatican analyst who's in roam for us. george, i want to dive right in because i know we have got a delay to worry about. most people know the role of the pope as the spiritual leader among catholics, but of course his other job is to proselytize and grow his flock. if you look around the landscape of global catholicism, you see
that catholicism is very important in parts of europe, south america and south africa. should that be a consideration in choosing the next pope, finding someone who might be able to grow the flock in area where is catholicism is least represented? >> reporter: first of all the church is actually in very bad shape in a lot of western europe. and what we need, i think, what the church needs, is a pope who wherever he comes from is such a radically converted disciple of jesus crist is that he can invite people to consider the possibility of crist faith. we have seen that come from a pope from poland, who know one had ever heard of, we have seen it manifested in an elderly man whom people thought they knew
and found out had a few surprises up his sleeve. so i don't think where a man comes from is as significant as the department of his faith and the transparency of his personality as an invitation to faith for others. >> not to state the obvious here, but one of the most unusual aspects of choosing the successor is that the current pope, the previous pope is still alive. so how much influence will pope benedict have over this process? will he basically be able to name his own successor? >> no, he won't. he has had his influence over the process in that he's named slightly over half of the cardinals who will elect his successor. but benedict xvi, or joseph ratzinger as he will begin on february 28, is too much of a respecter of the process to try
to interfere with it. he is really going to disappear. you're not going to see him for a considerable length of time, that's how he wants it and that's how it ought to be. >> let me talk about cardinal timothy dolan, the religious new service calls him today the chris christie of the college of cardinals, a man who's a plus sized purlet who makes jokes about his weight. he said in terms of baseball, i am going to be pro choice. is it possible for them to choose an american pope? would it be good for the church to choose an american pope? >> reporter: if the cardinals decide that cardinal dolan is the man who can do what i just said to crystal, put a forward looking faith on the church's offer of disciple ship, i think
he will be the man chosen. i think the old taboo about a superpower pope being off the table is really no longer in play. that had something to do with the cold war, obviously. but it also had something to do with the decline of american presence in the world under the present administration, so i think a hope from any place, plug the united states is in the realm of possibility right now. >> the demographics of the catholic church are changing right now, i think that was one of benedict's goals when he started as pope was to reverse that decline. is there something that any new pope could do to actually stem the losses that the catholic choice is experiencing and bring those numbers back up? >> it's a very good question,
both john paul ii and benedict xvi spent enormous energies trying to reevangelize europe. and the effects have been minute natural so far. one has to hope that europe facing a very bleak demographic future itself, i mean europe is depopulating itself at a rate unheard of in human history. will eventually suggest to europeans that the sole wiltering secularism in which they have been stuing themselves for the past several generations has no future quite literally. it would be very helpful if the next pope is a man who had come from a background who has faced down and successfully met the challenge of aggressive seg larism. >> merge catholicism is
experiencing something of an identity crisis, catholics now have twice voted for a president who one might consider to be the most liberal on right to life issues that we have ever had. is that catholic identity crisis in the united states of kern to the vatican? >> it should be of concern to everyone, although i would underscore that catholics who are regularly practicing catholics, mass once a week catholics voted overwhelmingly for governor romney the last time. so the catholic vote such as it is, skews long a line between regularly practicing to nonpracticing. the church in the united states, i think is in the best shape it's been in in the past 20 years. this easter, about 250,000 people all over the country, adults will either be baptized in the catholic church or
received into full communion with the catholic church from other christian dominations, that's pretty good, particularly considering the bludgeoning the church has taken, often with good reason over the past ten years. >> that's heartening to hear. george wiegal at the vatican. the wheel of misfortune makes a triumphant return with a twist. i was in the ambulance and i was told to call my next of kin. at 33 years old, i was having a heart attack.
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this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. we have exciting "cycle" news for you. no, i am still not pregnant with twins. i'm a one baby at a time kind of gal, thank you very much. but remember our fiscal wheel of misfortune? we would like you to meet the sequester wheel of misfortune. and today we're going with super sequester.
the sequester is $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts we're up against next month and -- that doesn't mean things like social security are not also on the chopping block, a new study conducted by the national academy of social insurance, shows the majority of americans are actually willing to pay a little more. not only is your middle name valentine, but it's also your birthday, happy birthday.
what basically if you could just sort of take us through the research, what were the more surprising things, what jumped out at you? >> what was really surprising is that americans support and value social security, they are willing to pay more, as you said, for benefits and they actually want to pay for benefit increases as opposed to benefit cuts. >> when you say this, what exactly, how are they willing to pay for more for it and what sort of benefit increases are they looking for? >> sure. so when we're talking about, we asked them their attitudes about social security, about their attitudes towards taxing taxes, excuse me. so 84% of americans say that they don't mind paying taxes because they know that social security provides security and stability to millions of americans. and so more than they're not than that they don't mind so 30% say they'll -- 87% say they're willing to raise taxes on
wealthy americans. and our foundings were true across party lines. >> according to the social security administration, social security has been running deficits since 2010. and owes -- why are we considering raising the requirement age and changing benefit levels for people who don't need to rely on social security? >> that's a great question, i'm glad you asked it. there are many ways to safe social security. we looked at rasing taxes, and improving benefits and raising the requirement age. what we found was people don't want to the means test, they believe in social insurance, they want everyone who pays into
social security to receive benefits back, for the raising of the requirement age, people were sort of mixed on raising it to 68, they said maybe i could work one more year, but raising it to 70 elicited a very strong negative reaction, people don't want to work into their 70s. >> what if we poll people into the future who have not had to make these decisions like, it's easy to say what you would like to have happen to you, but it's harder to say what you would like to happen to your kids in later generations. >> people want to extend social for the future generations. >> we'll hear about the social security crisis and we'll look at the future outlays for the program and we'll look at what's coming in through the payroll taxes and we'll say it's not enough to cover all the benefits so the program is in risk of bankruptcy. it really doesn't have to be the
case. when fd founded the social -- we could also just treat it as any other government program. like the military, for instance, we could never talk about the military going bankrupt. we could partially fund it with general revenue, do we even need a broader -- looking beyond just the payroll tax. >> i think that is a great question, steve, and, you know, i really don't know the answer. i do know that the conversations that were happening in and outside of washington on social security have been mostly focusing on benefit cuts and the study shows that they don't want to cut benefits, they know that people rely on them and they would rather increase taxes through their payroll tax. >> i don't know if your study got into this at all. but it's always striking, maybe you can speak to this, when you compare the social insurance benefits we provide in this country t safety net in this country, whether it's social
security or other programs and you compare it to other major programs around the world, we're also stingy, aren't we? >> we also have other social benefits, other social insurance, it's really interesting. >> and i think this research is very interesting and as you're pointing out, the conversation in d.c. on both sides seems to center on how can we cut benefits, a -- people actually want to increase the cost of living adjustment. so have you taken this research to any members of congress, any members of the administration and how has it been received in d.c.? >> you know, i think people are very surprised by the results in d.c., they weren't expecting that people want town crease benefits and pay for them. to we do have planned some hill briefings coming up in february, next week we plan to brief the white house, so we're hoping that people could be more informed about what americans
really want when it comes to social security. >> and jasmine, just as one final point, help us understand because there's a lot of misinformation out there. right now in terms of the social security fine nance. >> so the most recent social security trustee's report, we'll have another one in april of 2013, in just a couple of months, we have $2.7 trillion in sure plus. woo so we're going to continue to draw down those funds if we continue on our current path and nothing changes with the projections, we'll draw down those funds until 2033, so we can pay full benefits until 2033 and thereafter we can pay about 75% of benefits. so for 75 -- for 75 years into the future, social security is about 85% sol vent and so our study was looking at, if we were going to strengthen social
security for the future and ensure that 100% of benefits can be paid for 75 years, for 150 ye years, for ever, what changes they would want. >> all right, jasmine valentine tucker, thanks for coming up and happy birthday again. in honor of valentine's day, our fans have been sending valentine's of their own. gail weaver says we love you all, yes, even s.e. happy valentine's day you crazy kids. and i wanted to personally share another valentine with you, courtesy of the dccc. every year the dccc comes out with valentine spoofing cards. from the house republicans.
challenge to america to open it's doors to everyone in this country. a recent "usa today" editorial called end homophobia in professional sports calling the sports world the last closet in america. if you think there aren't gay men in the nfl or the nba or major league baseball, think again. there definitely are. that's say was wren by a gay rights activist and a freshly minted super bowl champion, a linebacker for the baltimore ravens. prachgs some of the work that you're doing in terms of gay rights and i've got to think back to when i was in college and i felt for some of the gay people on campus and the problems they went through and i
wanted to join the gay rights group, a friend of mine said don't do that because the stigma will be too much and think about the straight people who are afraid to stand with the gay rights movement. and someone like you who's proud to stand up as a straight person with them. why is the cause so important to you to stand up despite the stigma that might come with it. >> i was always impressed with what president lincoln did -- i faced discrimination myself, and i see it along the same lines, if you're gay, if you're black, you're in the minority and you're not treated equally. to me it's just a human rights issue and part of the majority is going to influence everyone else so the minority gets treated equally. >> i have always agreed with that that you don't have to be part of the group that is
persecuted to want to stand up for it. that's high i'm drawn to the gay rights cause as well. but i'm wondering if you can tell me, where does most of the pressure come from in the informal to silence gay players and make them feel like they didn't come out? does that pressure come from other players? does it come from coaches, o sp investment deals? >> in our society as a whole, you know, supposedly if you're gay, you're not as tough as everybody else. so you're playing a sport that's a machismo sport and so you don't want to come out -- i think it starts early when kids are young, it encourages inclusiveness in sports, go out there and play sports, be healthy, be happy and don't be
discourag discouraged. go out there play sports and let's change america. i was like wow, he's the greatest dive that i have ever seen and he was also gay, i thought that was very impressive. we need to foster our youth and dhachk the way of thinking that if you ire gay you're not going to be as good as sports as the homosexuals are not going to be driven out or sportses. >> there are already gay individuals who are active in professional sports, will it be somebody who is already a professional athlete and will come out or is it going to be somebody who's growing up right now and they're going to come out at an early age and it will -- we're trying to change
everything in sports, so the players, they know that they have someone that they can lean on. from's players in the league that aren't homophobic, that support them, as long as you're a great athlete, you're going to make the team better, you're going to be able to be happy, and be yourself and if you are yourself you'll be a better athlete and in turn help the team be better. we're trying to set a precedent th that's ending homophobia. >> i'm obviously not a professional athlete, i was a division i swimmer in columbia, and even in the swimming team i found out how hard it was for my friends to come out and be public about their sexuality, so i can only imagine what kind of pressure there is in the very macho profession of pro football. but i know there's other players
who are not willing to be as courageously outspoken as you are, but have you had some of your colleagues tell you how supportive they are of what you're doing or criticize what you're doing? >> absolutely, i have met both in the past, in 2009, when i originally talked about this issue, i would hear snickering in the background and people would slander me in all kinds of different ways in the background, nobody wanted to take it head on. and now in 2012 or 2013. and guys actually engage with me. but the most important things that we're having dialogue, and through this we're educating nfl athletes and other athletes across the board of all sports in general and we're having a kfert conversation. it's not really anybody's business what you're sexuality so it's something that we shouldn't even need to talk about but we have to talk about so we can change the ways and change the way everybody has
been operating and discriminating against the lgbt community. >> is it true there are some players in the nfl who are out at least to their teammates and maybe the beat reporters don't know, the fans don't know, but the teammates know and they are accepting of that. is that true in a couple cases? >> i haven't heard of it. i haven't heard of a current player that is out that is playing, but like i wrote in my article, there are players that are gay. we don't know it and every day in our daily lives we have relatives, friends, co-workers that are guy and we just don't know it. there's no need to treat them any different now that we poe what their sexuality is which is none of our business but for some reason in our culture we see that people aren't as accepting because of what your sexual orientation is. ja let's go back to a slightly less important battle but an incredibly important battle in your life. the second half of the super bowl after the blackout. you guys are sort of fighting uphill, the 49ers are behind, but they're coming, they're
coming, they're scoring. what are you thinking about? what are you saying to each other as this onslaught of 49 r erpoints are coming and what did you do in that final stand that made it tern out your way? >> some brave 49er fan decided not to watch the comeback and cut out the power. so they definitely took the wind out of our sails but it was a perfect culmination to a perfect super bowl that it ended on defense. ray lewis made his goal line stand. he championed the defense. we hung on and we knew that the team that played better football for 60 minutes would be the champion and how amazing of a story with the two harbaugh brothers going against each other. i think the only winner was, in fact, the harbaugh family. jack harbaugh had two sons playing against each other. you couldn't have wrote a better story. >> did ray say anything to you in that final goal line stand that took your spirits to
another level? >> i mean, he was preaching the wh whole time. we're not going to lose this football game. we are going to win this game by ni means necessary. we're not going to let them score, we're going to shut them down and believed in that for every second of that football game and it ended up coming to fruition. >> ray lewis as malcolm x, i love it. thank you very much. >> thanks for having me on. krystal responds to the president's call to raise the minimum wage. >> let's declare in the wealthiest nation on earth not one who works full time should have to live in poverty and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. we should be able to get that done. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? and with all the points i've been earning, i was able to get us a flight to our favorite climbing spot
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republicans are desperately searching for a new image, new brand, new ways to convince the average joe that they're not just the party of the rich catering to the american blue to blue tock ra si. they care about the poor. the new republican strategy of saying they care about the poor is a significant improvement from outward sworn and disdain for the poor, but just imagine if there was an actual policy proposal to back it up. what if there was a way to directly help millions and lower unemployment without another budget busting stimulus? what if there was a way to reverse the rising tide of inequality without increasing taxes and redistribution. what if there whats a way to --
if all that sounds great, then i have a policy for you. increasing the minimum wage would do all of those things. if, in fact, republicans care about the plight of the working poor then a minimum wage hike is exactly the sort of pro-self reliance policy a remade gop should support. it's not actually so crazy to think they could support it. the last minimum wage increase was passed with bipartisan support and a minimum wage increase is supported by the same logic as the earned income tax credit, an idea that republicans embraced as an alternative to welfare during reagan's tax reform. reward work, avoid government hand downs, build a culture of personal responsibility. naturally, since the president proposed it, boehner, rubio, and paul ryan have all dismissed raising the minimum wage out of hand